Crichton Trust Business Plan Progress Report

At the meeting of the Crichton Sub Committee (10 June), Members will hear a progress report on the delivery of the Crichton Trust Business Plan 2015-16. The report highlights the progress being made by the Crichton Trust in delivering nine key milestones within their business plan, as well as  showing that the Trust is on target to make a projected overall profit (before tax, depreciation and deferred income) of £323k in the current financial year.


A key role of the Council’s Crichton Committee is to oversee and scrutinise the delivery of the business plan by the Crichton trust.

Chair of the Crichton Sub Committee, Councillor Colin Smyth commented: “Since the council first bought the Crichton site in 1995 it has developed into a successful business park and centre for education, but it has much more potential and can become a massive driving force for the region’s economy. There are a lot of major projects we want to see come to fruition to ensure the Crichton fulfils that potential but in a way that preserves this historical site which is close to the hearts of the people of Dumfries and beyond,”

There were nine key milestone projects of the Plan agreed by this Committee in June 2015. Two of these are now complete, with the rest either near completion or ongoing, depending on the size of the project.

The new Crichton Website is now up and running with information updated regularly with opportunities for events, conferences and business accommodation. The specific Easterbrook Weddings and Corporate Events section of the website is currently undergoing an update to ensure the correct look for this specialism. In April 2016 the Trust launched a new initiative at Easterbrook Hall; Easterbrook Live, which will involve bringing concerts and live acts to the Hall which will enhance the existing Weddings, Corporate and Private Sector and Special Events business.

Neuro’s, the new bar, restaurant and spa is now open 7 days a week on the Crichton Estate. The projected outturn on the project is £865,000, to which Dumfries and Galloway Council made a contribution of £550k, with the Trust funding the balance. The business is in its early stages, but current projections show a net profit to the order of £40k in the current financial year.

The Let’s Get Sporty Social Enterprise are on track to move to accommodation on or in the vicinity of the estate by December 2016. A possible addition to this has been the identification of another organisation who provide special sensory fun and sport for less able children.

Discussions are ongoing with ‘Interbev’ to secure a hospitality and international brand partnership. The company have indicated their support to provide marketing initiatives and hope to launch these in the Autumn of this year. The branding will promote the Crichton nationally and internationally and Interbev will sponsor events within the Easterbrook Hall and Neuro’s.

During the year, 14 new tenancy agreements have been completed and occupancy of the lettable accommodation on the Estate is currently at 83%. Heads of Terms have been agreed for the renewal of the leases with the University of Glasgow, and DGHP for a further period of 15 years. UWS have also renewed their leases on a one year recurring basis. The Trust/CDC now provide facilities management for a number of tenants which provides a further income stream, which will help to update facilities in some areas of the estate, such as access to IT and telephony.


Councillor Smyth went on to say: “These milestones are important steps forward, for the development of the Crichton Estate and Dumfries, and for the region as a whole.  One of the top priorities for Dumfries and Galloway Council is to build the local economy and we will do this by investing in our key infrastructure and providing opportunities within an attractive location to do business. The development the Crichton estate will help to establish a more diverse economy which creates sustainable, high wage job opportunities.”

Latest Articles